EBSA nominee to finally get a vote

UPDATE 04/27/2022 9:30: The closure motion to expedite the review of Lisa Gomez’s nomination was withdrawn at the end of April 26, further delaying the review of her nomination.

It looks like the entire Senate can finally vote on President Biden’s nominee to lead the DOL Benefits Security Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) filed a closure petition on April 25 to limit debate on the nomination of Lisa Gomez for deputy secretary of the Department of Labor. Under Senate rules, filing a closure petition typically takes 48 hours to “ripen,” which would result in a final vote for later this week, assuming the Senate approves the motion.

Gomez’s nomination process has been a long and winding road. His nomination was first announced in July 2021, but the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) did not hold a hearing until October. Following that hearing, his nomination was put on hold because Republican members wanted to further his perspective on environmental, social, and corporate governance investing.

The committee ultimately approved Gomez’s appointment in December. But because she was not approved by the full Senate before the end of the year, she had to be renamed and reconsidered by the committee, which approved her nomination in January on a quasi-vote. 12-9 supporter, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) the only Republican to vote for.

Gomez is currently a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, representing employer and union pension plans. She joined the firm in 1994, became a partner in 2002 and currently chairs the firm’s management committee.

If the Senate confirms Gomez, she will replace Ali Khawar, who served as EBSA’s acting deputy secretary and would remain principal deputy undersecretary.

Photo: Daniel D’Ottavio/Cohen, Weiss & Simon LLP

Andrew B. Reiter